Photo Credit: Kelly Bulleit (used with permission)
Student Council Secures The STAG
November 15, 2016
For the first time in Academy history students are allowed to go by themselves to the Academy Winter Formal! For the last three years, as I stressed over finding a date, I have wondered, Why do I need a boy? And, Doesn’t Academy teach us all that we can be independent? (i.e. go out by ourselves/with friends) Many of you have probably wondered the same things. Well, thanks to Senior Ciara Chappell, the students at Academy can finally prove that we, in fact, can attend a dance without being escorted by a boy.
There are many reasons why this rule needed to be updated. First, some students have never been able to attend Formal simply because they were not able to find a date. Since Academy does not have a homecoming (and to be frank we can’t count on Jesuit kids asking us), there are only two opportunities to attend a school dance each year. This number is reduced to one for underclassmen who cannot attend prom either. So basically, Freshmen and Sophomores who didn’t want to take a date or couldn’t find someone available were completely out of luck when it came to experiencing a high school dance. But NOT ANYMORE!
Furthermore, as touched on before, many students faced predicaments where their boyfriend or boy-friend was unable to attend because of sports or some other engagement. Many girls had to miss out on a fun night with their friends because their potential date had a basketball game or a soccer game. NOT ANYMORE!
Let’s be honest, many of us have taken a date that we barely knew just so we could get in the door. Often it’s awkward and you feel awful for wanting to ditch them the whole time. But, once again, NOT ANYMORE! It’s not a fun experience to have to feel uncomfortable around some stranger all night, and now Academy girls can chose to bypass that whole situation.
Academy students owe a big thanks to Principal Stephanie Nitchals for supporting the change in Formal policy. When asked why she thought it was important for Academy girls to have the option not to take a date, she commented, “This is your school, and everyone should get to participate in things that happen at their own school.”
Nitchals also wanted to draw attention to Ciara Chappell’s dedicated efforts in trying to get the rule changed. Nitchals remarked, “Ciara was a fantastic ambassador for the entire school. She shared stories about girls who couldn’t go- seniors who have never gone- and she really did a great job speaking for the senior class and everyone else.”
Academy has a long history dating back to 1881. I have a feeling that the many years from now, students are going to remember Ciara Chappell and what she did to promote them and their own independence as they get ready for the Formal dance. Thank you to everyone who was involved in this decision!